Stephenie Meyer and Kristen Stewart Interview with LA Times


LA Times had an interview with Kristen and Stephenie Meyer. It's a long one, and a good one at that.

Even after all this time, author Stephenie Meyer, the Mormon mother of three who became an overnight literary sensation with the 2005 publication of her young-adult novel "Twilight," can't explain the phenomenon that surrounds the grand romance between vampire Edward Cullen and human teenager Bella Swan, characters played on-screen by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

"I don't know what makes people love it, I don't know what makes people hate it," said Meyer, seated comfortably in a suite of a Beverly Hills hotel. "But I do know that the feeling of being in love is a good feeling. We want to feel that emotion." "I've always said that," Stewart said to Meyer, sitting beside her. "It's so vicarious. It's not like you are watching two people or reading two people. You feel like you are doing it. It's rare."

There's no question that "Twilight" is that rare gem: a book and movie property that stokes a kind of unquenchable fire among its largely female fan base. That following has been so sizable and so fervent that the "Twi-hards," as they're called, have helped transform Meyer's supernatural tale into a $2.5-billion business, proving that girl-centric tales can be powerful forces at the box office. 

With the fifth and presumably final big-screen entry, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2," due to arrive in theaters Friday, Meyer and Stewart seem to share a bond reminiscent of the connection between Meyer's two protagonists.

Their closeness stems from the unlikely duo's joint goal of ensuring that the beloved material, for all its melodrama, remained intact as it was translated to the big screen. That required them to battle nervous studio executives who wanted Stewart's interpretation of Bella to be less tortured, hardened detractors who railed against overwrought story lines and pop culture satirists who often turned the franchise into its own punch line.

A changed Bella

Directed like its predecessor by Oscar winner Bill Condon, "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" begins with Bella Swan as a newborn vampire and a new mother, whose half-human daughter, Renesmee, threatens to spark a war among various tribes of vampires from around the globe. The ruling class in Italy, the Volturi, wrongly assume that Bella and Edward have transformed a human child into a vampire, something that is expressly forbidden, and gather forces to take down the entire Cullen clan. The story line gave Stewart the opportunity to bring a new dimension to a character who'd always considered herself ordinary and clumsy; with her supernatural powers, she could be graceful and beautiful, lightning-fast and lethal.

A new ending

The 700-page-plus "Breaking Dawn" novel was released just a few months before director Catherine Hardwicke's adaptation of "Twilight" reached theaters in 2008. The book was met with controversy, even among Meyer's loyal fans. Renesmee's birth is an especially gruesome sequence — one that Condon had to carefully navigate for the previous PG-13-rated movie — and some readers complained about Bella's choice to carry the child to term despite obvious risks to her own health. There was also grumbling about an ending that felt too soft, too anticlimactic. "I had a lot of concerns about making 'Breaking Dawn' a movie," said Meyer, who holds final approval on the scripts for the "Twilight" films. "There were a lot of things they wanted to change. There were some serious problems."

Life after 'Twilight'

Stewart and Meyer are ready for "Twilight" to come to a close. Its years of pop culture dominance have taken a toll on the women, particularly Stewart, who appears resigned to the glaring spotlight, though no more comfortable with it. The two discussed the public's desire to put celebrities on pedestals only to knock them down and the reality of the 24-hour news cycle as the mechanism that's destroyed the mystery of the movie star. "People are just going to write the movie version of your life and consume it the way they please. I get the inclination to be entertained by that as well, so go for it. Have at it. Take it. Take it," Stewart said, pulling at her cashmere sweater. "But you knew nothing about my relationship before. You know less now. How could you?" Meyer sympathizes with Stewart's plight. Until the teenage stars came along, the author, a self-described introvert troubled that people felt that they knew her without ever having met her, was the one in the eye of the storm. For Meyer, life after "Twilight" will involve more movies — Open Road will release writer-director Andrew Niccol's adaptation of her novel "The Host" in March, and she recently produced her own indie film, "Austenland," based on her friend Shannon Hale's novel.

Full Interview HERE.

LA Times via kstewartnews

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